Owning a boat is a luxury, so why do most people complain about the work. Paul's dad told him that to have fun you have to spend money, and boat owners spend money. I don't mind. Why do I like boating - freedom, that feeling of euphoria when you laugh with your friends, that feeling of being part of a group that all share the same joy, all boaters share the same difficulties in keeping their boats looking great and working properly.
What about the friendships, everlasting, there's an instant smile that comes to one's face when you are on the water, even on the race course - you always smile at your closest rival, knowing that they are feeling the same joy as you and your crew are on the water. That close bond between your crew, the boat, the water and the wind. I invite people to come sailing with me all the time - first timers or old timers, why, to share my priveiege and luxury. I think most that come out for the first time feel the same joy, wonderment, the same feeling that you are using the earth's resources without using them up.
What about the organizations. Some are good, some bad. Sometimes members of a boat club lose sight of why they are members of an organization, they are there to all share in the joy of boating, the joy of meeting new people, the joy of laughing. People tend to forget that we are only here, in this existence for a very short time. They forget to live, to laugh and to forgive. They forget to tolerate and they forget to laugh. They forget to take their boats off the dock and feel the wind in their hair, feel the cool dampness after being on the water on a cool fall day with the drizzle, the clouds and the waves. I think they forget the feeling of anticipation of putting the boat back in the water and reconnecting with friends you lost touch with over the winter during your hibernation.
Boaters forget we all share a common love, being outside, being on the water, and having a good time. I would hope that someday they can regain that sense of being human and living and inviting more people out sailing with them to share their joy and forget the bad stuff that our short lives throw at us. It's worth the time and money to me to have a place where I can forget about all the bad stuff, out there on the water, waiting for the 5 minute gun before the start of the race. To forget about politics as we cast off, wondering what sails would be appropriate for the possible front approaching, to forget about reality as we search for that lost sailing glove or wrestle with a knot in a halyard. It's more fun to stress over a perfect spinnaker gybe then what your neighbours are up to, or what you believe your fellow human beings should or should not be doing, in your opinion.
I'm sure my thoughts are same in any type of organization, sometimes we all need to step back and sort through the bad apples because I'm absolutely certain there are many more good apples in the basket then bad apples, and it's easy to take the bad apples and turn them into something outstanding - all they need is a little reminder once in a while.
Speaking of apples - IT'S CRAB APPLE SEASON
So I raided the neighbour's lawn and here's my crab apple jelly recipe:
A basket of crab apples, washed, stemmed, debugged and quartered
A handful of vanilla sugar or Splenda
2 whole star anise
1 pkg liquid pectin or 4 tbsp. powdered pectin
Put quartered apples in large stock pot, sprinkle with sugar and toss in the star anise. Cover with water, just until the apples begin to float. Cook on high for approximately 10-20 minutes, until apples have completely broken down.
Pour the liquid through a sieve or a large strainer lined with cheese cloth and let sit a couple of hours.
Pour the liquid back into the stock pot and reduce the liquid by 1/4. Add pectin and cook a further 10 to 15 minutes until the liquid begins to thicken. Pour into jars and let cool with the lids off. Can be stored in the fridge for quite a while (how's that for accuracy) and eat with any kind of game meats, poultry, on toast or right out of the jar with a spoon.
HINT: if the liquid seems a tad bitter, add some vanilla and a touch more sugar or Splenda to balance the bitterness. Crab Apple jelly should be a bit sour with a hint of bitterness which comes from the skin of the apple.